KP Should Focus on Conflict-Torn Regions only

Shanghai: The newly elected president of the World Diamond Council (WDC) Edward Asscher, put a chill Tuesday on the movement to expand the scope of the Kimberley Process and so cover general human rights abuses, stating the trade body should focus exclusively on diamonds proceeding from conflict zones.

Speaking at the Intercessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process in Shanghai, Asscher said he supported increasing the scope of a global monitoring of the trade in rough diamonds to counter all forms of organized violence, not only those associated with civil wars. However, he drew a line at “other social and humanitarian challenges”, saying this task should be left to other industry actors.

Currently the KP only addresses diamonds produced in areas controlled by rebel militias. It doesn’t take into consideration violence committed by governments.

“The implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in 2003 saved many lives,” he said in his speech. “Its effectiveness inspired further confidence in our product, the diamond.”